Coal India's Massive Mine Expansion In Trouble From Local Protests

Coal India is facing opposition from locals in Chhattisgarh against a planned mine expansion for Asia’s biggest coal mine.

What Happened? The government-owned miner is holding talks with protesting locals near the mega Gevra coal project, which the company plans to expand in order to generate up to 70 million tonnes of coal every year, Bloomberg reported.

Residents of the area opposing the mine expansion have brought up concerns over groundwater levels, air pollution and insufficient compensation for land, local representatives told the publication. A public hearing was held this week at the site.

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The Gevra coal mine in March hit an output of 50 million tonnes, making it one of the most productive coal mines in Asia. The expansion to 70 million tonnes would set it up to be one of the largest in the world. However, the local protests threaten to derail Coal India’s attempts to win approvals for the expansion.

However, a spokesperson for Coal India’s South Eastern Coalfields, which operates the Gevra mine, told the business publication that it was taking measures to curtail pollution and that studies had not shown any impact on groundwater levels from the existing project.

Coal India had last year upped the financial compensation for land at the project and had offered 700 jobs in exchange for the land, the spokesperson said.

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